China’s reported tests of a hypersonic orbital glide vehicle show notable advances in reusable space technology, an industry expert said.
The deployment of sensor satellites in low Earth orbit to fill blind spots in the U.S. missile defense system is finally moving from the drawing board to actual space hardware.
Sensors in space that can detect and track hypersonic missiles should be at the top of DoD’s wish list, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten said Aug. 11.
The Air Force Research Laboratory awarded SpaceX an $8.5 million contract to investigate manufacturing techniques for heat shields that protect hypersonic vehicles in flight.
A June 5 solicitation for a “tracking phenomenology experiment” is a step in the development of a sensor network in space to track hypersonic missiles.
Hypersonic capabilities have the potential to rewrite the balance of power across land, sea, air and space. We need to demystify the technology to ensure the nation makes the necessary investments to secure U.S. leadership in hypersonics over the next decade.
Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Leidos and L3Harris will develop competing prototypes.
Hyten agrees with SDA Director Fred Kennedy that DoD should rapidly develop a space sensor constellation in LEO.